Halloween-obsessed teen sets up haunted home displaysOct 06, 2022 11:35AM ● By Karen Painter
Fourteen-year-old Maximus Larmore is obsessed with Halloween. Every September, he drags 40 mannequins out from his family’s basement and shed to create haunted Halloween displays in the yard.
“I just love Halloween and decorating for Halloween. I have to stuff and dress each mannequin, then put their Styrofoam heads on, and then their masks,” Larmore said.
Larmore is currently a ninth grader at Kaysville Junior High and loves to draw all things Halloween. He would like to be an art teacher or set designer one day.
Lamore’s mother, Katie Shaw, shares her son’s love of Halloween.
“I like to get all my kids involved. We always dress up in the most homemade creative ways. When my kids were little, we didn’t have a lot of money so I put a few decorations out on the porch,” Shaw said.
Those decorations sparked Larmore’s interest. “My mom put a guy or two on the porch. People would come up and get scared and run away–that is when I started loving Halloween,” he said.
Larmore’s interest grew when his mother inherited 25 mannequins from a friend who was closing her retail business.
“They were very expensive, but she told me I could just have them. I said, ‘Oh my gosh, ok,’” Shaw said.
Larmore and Shaw liked to collect items for their Halloween displays. One day they went to purchase a few items from a seller.
“I went down to a storage unit in Kaysville to buy a few things. Then I called my husband and said, ‘Um, I just bought a haunted house,’” Shaw laughed. She said her husband replied, “How did you even find out how to buy a haunted house?”
The items filled two storage units as big as Shaw’s home. Part of the purchase was a commitment to run the haunted house as a fundraiser for Mountain High. They set up the haunted house in their yard.
Mountain High students volunteered to set things up, put on costumes, and scare people who came to the haunted house.
“I met a lot of cool kids who were struggling. Their home lives were so crazy and so I’d sit and talk to them. It was awesome,” said Shaw.
Larmore helped set up the haunted house for two years.
“There were tents, and walls, and mazes all around the yard. It took months to set up,” Shaw said.
Eventually, Shaw decided to sell the haunted house and Larmore was livid.
“Max was so mad. He lived for it, but I told him we’d keep everything that we used to do,” Shaw said.
Between two jobs and juggling the needs of six kids, Shaw didn’t have time to decorate last year.
“So Max took it over and does it all now. He set it all up by himself last year,” Shaw said.
Larmore made himself a spreadsheet and has a book of ideas for this year’s displays.
“I have a lot of plans. I know where every single mannequin is going to go. My uncle tore down his chicken coop and so he gave me the chain link. I am going to put up that fence with zombies around it on the big side of the yard,” Larmore said.
He also plans to put what he calls “The Butcher Shop” on the south side of the yard and his favorites Michael Myers, Freddie Krueger, Penny Wise, Jigsaw, and Jason on the wood chips.
Larmore said his buddy Brock sometimes comes to help him set up and on Halloween, they will dress up and scare people who come to the door. Larmore plans to dress as Leatherface this year and run around with a chainsaw with the blades removed.
Shaw says the traffic in front of their house during Halloween is crazy. “The amount of people that stop by is insane. It’s very, very popular,” Shaw said.
If you want to check out Larmore’s work this Halloween, go to 190 North 500 East in Kaysville. λ